SSC CHSL Topic Wise Study Material – English Language – Preposition, Conjunction
A Preposition is a word which usually comes before a Noun or a Pronoun and expresses its relation to another word or element.
- A preposition cannot be followed by a verb. Verb placed immediately after preposition must be in gerund form.
(a) He prevented me from taking alcohol yesterday.
(b) He insisted on watching movie with him.
- When ‘object’ of the. preposition is an Interrogative Pronoun what, who, whom, which, where etc, the preposition usually takes end or front position.
(a) What are you thinking of?
(b) Who were you chatting to?
It used to be thought as ungrammatical, to end a sentence with a preposition, but it is now well accepted.
- When ‘object’ of the preposition is Relative Pronoun, ‘that’ the preposition takes end position.
(a) Here is the book that you asked for.
(b) This is the place that she is fond of.
- When ‘object’ of the preposition is infinitive (to + verb), the preposition is placed after infinitive.
(a) This is a good hotel to stay at tonight.
(b) I need a pen to write with.
- In some sentences, preposition is attached with the verb (These verbs take appropriate preposition with them).
(a) I hate being laughed at.
(b) This I insist on.
- In some cases the preposition comes in the beginning. These are usually Interrogative sentences.
(a) By which train did you come?
(b) For whom was instructions given?
Some Essential Prepositions
At / In/ On
These are very commonly used prepositions The use of these prepositions in reference to ‘Time’
(a) At is used for a Precise time.
(b) In is used for Months, years, Centuries and Long periods.
(c) On is used for Days and Dates.
(a) At is used for a Point.
(b) In is used for an Enclosed space.
(c) On is used for a Surface.
At/In/ To/ Into
(A) At shows stationary position or existing state while, In shows movement.
(a) She is at home.
(b) The train is in motion.
(B) At for small place town, etc., while In for big place, town, city, country etc.
(a) He lives at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.
(b) A temple is situated at Madurai in Chennai.
(C) At is used for point of time and In is used for period of time.
(a) The train will arrive at eight in the evening.
(b) He will meet you in the morning.
(D) TO and Into is used as following
(a) In the direction of Turn to the right.
(b) Destination I am going to my friend’s house.
(c) Until From Monday to Friday, five minutes to ten
(d) Compared with They prefer hockey to soccer.
(e) With indirect object Please give it to me.
(f) As part of infinitive I like to ski, he wants to help.
(g) In order to We went to the store to buy soap.
(a) To the inside of We stepped into the room.
(b) Change of condition The wood changed into ashes.
On can be used for both existing position and movement.
(a) He was sitting on his bag.
(b) Snow fell on the hills.
On can also be used as an adverb Like
(a) Go on.
(b) Come on.
Onto is used when there is movement involving a change of level.
(a) People climbed onto the roofs.
(b) He lifted her onto the table.
With is used for instruments and By is used for agents.
(a) The poisonous snake was killed by him with a stick.
(b) The letter was written by Suresh with a fountain pen.
Since is often used with Present Perfect or Past Perfect Tense. Since is used for point of time and never for place, as Since 6 o’clock/last, night/last Monday/ since, Morning /Evening/ Monday/ Januaiy/2005 etc.
(a) It has been raining since two o’clock.
(b) He had been ill since last Friday.
(c) He left school in 2008.I haven’t seen him since.
(d) It is two years since I last saw my friend Raju. For is used of a Period of time,, for two hours/two days/two years/a long time/some time/forever etc.
(a) Boil it for two hours.
(b) He lived in this house for six months.
For is also used with a Present Perfect tense or Past Perfect Tense for an action which extends up to the time of speaking.
(a) He has worked here for a year.
(b) It has been raining for two hours.
From is normally used with to or till/until..
Most people work from eight to six.
From can also be used of place.
(a) He is from Mumbai.
(b) Where do you come from?
During is used with known periods of time, i.e., periods known by name, such as Christmas, Easter or periods which have been already defined.
(a) During the middle ages
(b) During the summer
(c) During childhood
(a) It rained all Sunday but stopped raining during the night.
(b) She was ill for a week and during that week she ate nothing except fruit.
For may be used to denote purpose and may also be used before known periods.
(a) I went there for the summer vacation.
(b) I rented my house for my holidays.
For has various other uses
(a) He asked for ten. I paid six for it.
(b) I bought one for my younger sister.
(c) He has been absent for three days.
Below and under both mean lower than (in level) and sometimes either can be used. But under usually denotes physical contact and below denotes space between the things.
(a) He put the books under the seat.
(b) He placed the lamp below the almirah.
(c) They live below us. (We live at the second floor while they live at the first floor).
(d) I was wearing a sweater also under the jacket.
Below and under may also mean junior in rank.
(a) He is under me. Means that I am superior to him.
(b) He is working under me.
Below is used meaning opposite to above.
(a) The temperature can fall below 15 degree Celsius.
(b) Rainfall has been below average this year.
Beneath Something that is beneath another thing is under the other thing.
(a) I could see the muscles of his shoulders beneath his T-Shirt___
(b) I found pleasure in sitting beneath the trees
(c) ___the frozen grass crunching beneath his feet.
Beneath could also mean ‘unworthy as per status’ or ‘in lower strata in social class’.
(a) It is beneath his dignity to beg for money, (unworthy of him)
(b) Roshni married beneath her. (into a lower social class)
‘In’ means the maximum time limit, while ‘within’ means the period upto which the work will be completed. Within a particular length of time means before that length of time, while ‘in’ refers the maximum time requires for the completion of the job.
(a) He will complete the work in a month.
(b) I can repair the genrator within half an hour.
Ago is used for past events while before is used in reference to two events.
(a) They came here three days ago.
(b) The train had left before I reached at the station.
Beside and Besides have altogether different meanings. Don’t confuse beside with besides. Beside = at the side of
He was sitting beside the guest.
Besides = in addition to /as well as
He has a car besides a new bike.
Between / Among
Between is normally used for ‘two’ things or persons, but it can also be used of more when we have a definite number in mind and there is a close relationship/association within them.
An old man distributed his property between his two sons.
Among is usually used for more than two persons or things when we have no definite number in mind.
He was happy to be among friends again.
Both have same meaning. Either of them can be used if followed by ‘the’. If followed by a word, beginning with a vowel ‘amongst’ be used. The use of amongst is usually found in literary writings.
(a) He distributed the toffees among/amongst the poor children.
(b) The priest distributes fruit amongst the devotees.
Of and Off are used in following situations referring.
(a) Location east of here, the middle of the road.
(b) Possession a friend of mine, the sound of music.
(c) Part of a group one of us, a member of the team.
(d) Measurement a cup of milk, two meters of snow.
(a) Not on away from Please keep off the grass.
(b) At some distance from There are islands off the coast switch off your cell phone in classroom.
Above and over both mean ‘higher than’ and- sometimes either can be used.
(a) The helicopter hovered above/over the mountain.
(b) White flags were waved above/over the buildings.
But over also mean ‘covering’/‘on the other side of ’/ ‘across’.
(a) He lives over this mountain.
(b) There is a bridge over the railway line.
Above can have none of these meanings.
Over can mean higher in rank.
He is over me. (Means He is my immediate boss)
Over is also used with meals /food/drink
(a) We had a chat over a cup of tea. (While drinking tea)
(b) The matter was decided over the lunch.
Above is also used meaning ‘earlier’ or ‘previous’.
(a) He lives at the above address. (Previously mentioned)
(b) For details please see (P-1) above. (Previously mentioned)
Make of /Made from
Both refers material used.
Made of is used when the shape of the material is not changed.
(a) A notebook is made of papers.
(b) A house is made of bricks.
Make from is used when shape of the material has undergone a total change.
(a) Butter is made from milk.
(b) Paper is made from grass.
‘In’ is used in following situations
(a) Place thought of as an area in London, in Europe, in Delhi city.
(b) Within a location in the room in the building, in the room.
(c) Large units of time That happened in March, in 2010.
(d) Within a certain time I will return in an hour.
(e) By means of write in pencil, speak in English.
(f) Condition in doubt; in a hurry, in secret
(g) A member of He is in the orchestra in the navy.
(h) Wearing the boy in the blue shirt.
(i) With reference to lacking in ideas.
With is used in following situations
(a) Accompanying He came with her, I have my keys with me.
(b) Having, containing Here is a book with a map of the island.
(c) By means of, using I repaired the shoes with glue.
(d) Manner with pleasure, with ease, with difficulty.
(e) Agreement I agree with you.
Opposite/In front of
‘Opposite’ is always used meaning ‘antonym’ and ‘position in front’. In front of always means front position. See the following
(a) Ram is sitting opposite Shyam. (Ram is facing Shyam)
(b) People living on one side of a street will talk of the houses on the. other side as the houses opposite rather than the houses in front of us.
(c) My teachers house is opposite to ours.
In front of is used in following ways
(a) He parked the car in front of the banquet hall.
(b) He put his books on the table in front of us.
By a time/by a date usually implies before that time or date.
(a) The train starts at 9:15 so you had better be at the station by 9:00.
(b) By the end of July I’ll have read all those books.
Before can used as a preposition or as a conjunction or as an adverb.
(a) Before signing this agreement let us discuss each and every point thread bare. (Preposition)
(b) Before you sign this you can discuss it with your father. (Conjunction)
(c) I’ve seen her somewhere before. (Adverb)
After must be followed by a noun, pronoun or gerund.
After breakfast, he ordered a taxi.
If we do not like to use a noun/ pronoun or gerund, we cannot use after but we can use afterwards or then.
Don’t have a meal and run immediately afterwards.
Both have the same meaning and are usually interchangeable.
After nobody/none/nothing/nowhere etc usually ‘but’ is used.
(a) Nobody but the thief knew the way.
(b) Nothing but the best is sold in our shop.
Except is used when the prepositional phrase comes later in a sentence.
Nobody knew the way except Asha.
The preposition to indicates movement with the aim of a specific destination, which can be a place or an event.
(a) I’m going to Mumbai tomorrow by air.
(b) I need to go to the Bank.
The preposition towards indicates movement in a particular direction.
(a) Everyone sitting in the room turned towards me.
(b) She was carrying a suitcase and walking towards the railway station.
The preposition through refers to movement within a space which can be thought of as three-dimensional.
(a) They drove through some spectacular countryside.
(b) The canal flows through the village.
Through usually suggests movement across an entire space, from one side of something to another.
He cut through the wire.
The preposition into refers to movement from the outside to the inside of a three-dimensional space.
(a) We got into the back of the car.
(b) She reached into her bag and found the keys.
The prepositions across and over are used to talk about movement from one side of a place to another. They usually refer to movement in relation to places ‘along’ means over e.g., along the road which, can be thought of as two-dimensional, such as surfaces (e.g., a lawn) or lines (e.g., a river).
(a) I’ll jump over the wall and open the gate.
(b) It’s the first time I’ve flown across the Atlantic.
(c) Miria was walking along the road.
Some transitive verbs do not take prepositions with them. Such commonly used verbs are: reach, resist, resemble, afford, accompany, attack, assist, pick, pervade, precede, obey, order, combat, benefit, inform, violate etc.
(a) He ordered for a cup of coffee. (Incorrect)
He ordered a cup of coffee. (Correct)
(b) India attacked on Pakistan. (Incorrect)
India attacked Pakistan. (Correct)
(c) He informed to me yesterday. (Incorrect)
He informed me yesterday. (Correct)
Home If verbs showing movement like, go, get etc., is used with home, we should not use any preposition before home.
(a) It took them three hours to get home.
(b) I went home by bus.
Verbs denoting command, request, invitation and advice e.g, advise, ask, beg, command, encourage, implore, invite, order, recommend, remind, request, tell, urge, warn, can be followed directly by the person addressed without the use of preposition ‘to’.
(a) I advised her to wait for them.
(b) We urged him to try again.
(c) I reminded them that there were no trains after 11 pm.
Directions (Q. Nos. 1-15) Read each sentence to find out whether there is any error in it. The error if any, will he in one part of the sentence, the number of that part is the answer. If there is no error, the answer is (d).
1. I was shocked to hear (a) / that his father (b)/ died of an accident, (c) / No error (d)
2. I must start at dawn (a) / to reach the station (b) / in time, (c) / No error (d)
3. I shall put on (a) / a note in this regard (b) / for your consideration and necessary decision, (c) / No error (d)
4. None could dare (a) / to encroach (b) / on his rights, (c) / No error (d)
5. The father brought the sweets (a) / and distributed them (b) / between his five children. (c) / No error (d)
6. Raman developed the habit (a) / for sleeping late (b) / when he was staying in the hostel, (c) / No error (d)
7. It is the duty of every right thinking citizen (a) /to try to make (b) / the whole world a happier place to live, (c) / No error (d)
8.The top-ranking candidates (a) / will be appointed in senior jobs (b) / in good companies, (c) / No error (d)
9.My niece has been married (a) / with (b) / the richest man of the town, (c) / No error (d)
10.The venue of examination (a) / is one mile (b) / further up the hill, (c) /No error (d)
11.The doctor referred the patient (a) / for the OPD (b) / without examining him. (c) / No error (d)
12.A man who always convince (a) / on the faults of his children (b) / is their worst enemy, (c) / No error (d)
13.I do not understand (a) / why (b) / he is so angry at me. (c) / No error (d)
14.I am hearing a lot (a) / about the problem (b)/ of AIDS these days, (c) / No error (d)
15.Because of his innocence (a) / he can not distinguish (b) / a cheat for an honest person, (c) / No error (d)
Verifying the Answers
A Conjunction is a word which joins two or more than two words, phrases, clauses or sentences.
Some Important Rules
- Scarcely/hardly is always followed by when/before.
Scarcely had he gone out of the office then he came. (Incorrect)
Scarcely had he gone out of the office when he came. (Correct)
- Lest is followed by should.
Not is not used with it.
Be careful lest you will fall. (Incorrect)
Be careful lest you should fall. (Correct)
- Although/though must always be followed by yet or comma (,).
Although he worked hard but he failed. (Incorrect)
Although he worked hard yet he failed. (Correct)
- Both is followed by and and not by else, but or as well as.
Both Sonu as well as Pawan have done their work. (Incorrect)
Both Sonu and Pawan have done their work. (Correct)
- Rather and other are always followed by than.
I have no other choice but to do it. (Incorrect)
I have no other choice than to do it. (Correct)
- Neither nor and Either or are used in pairs.
These are followed by the same part of speech.
(i) He has invited neither him not her. (Incorrect)
He has invited neither him nor her. (Correct)
(ii) Either the step taken was right or wrong. (Incorrect)
The step taken was either right or wrong. (Correct)
Both Sonu as well as Pawan have done their work. (Incorrect)
Both Sonu and Pawan have done their work. (Correct)
- Not only is followed by but also. These always join the same parts of speech.
He is going not only to open a hospital but also an inn. (Incorrect)
He is going to open not only a hospital but also an inn. . (Correct)
- Whether is always followed by or.
We don’t care that you pass or fail. (Incorrect)
We don’t care whether you pass or fail. (Correct)
- The same is followed by relative pronoun that or as.
e.g..He is the same boy who broke the glass. (Incorrect)
He is the same boy that broke the glass. (Correct)
- As is used if the verb is not clear in the sentence
This is the same dress as mine.
- Because, since, as, as soon as are not followed by therefore, thus, etc.
As he came late, therefore he was punished. (Incorrect)
As he came late, he was punished. (Correct)
- Until means ‘up to the points in time or the event mentioned’. It is used to express time.
Unless means ‘if not’. It is used to express condition.
* Not is not used with until/unless
(i) He cannot pass until he works hard. (Incorrect) He cannot pass unless he works hard. (Correct)
(ii) She continued in her idle ways until she was not eighteen. (Incorrect)
She continued in her idle ways until she was eighteen.(Correct)
- Such is usually followed by as.
He is not such a good singer as we expected.
* Such is followed by that if the sentence expresses a cause.or a result
There was such, a noise as we could not hear ourselves. (Incorrect)
There was such a noise that we could not hear ourselves. (Correct)
- No sooner is always followed by than and never by when, then, but etc.
No sooner had I reached there when she left. (Incorrect)
No sooner had I reached there than she left.(Correct)
- Not/never is followed by or and not by nor.
I have never touched her nor talked to her. (Incorrect)
I I have never touched her or talked to her. (Correct)
- And is not used before a relative pronoun.
He is an intelligent boy and who is my friend. (Incorrect)
He is an intelligent boy who is my friend. (Correct)
- That, as to etc are not used before interrogative words
(where, who, what, whom etc.)
They asked her that where she had been. (Incorrect)
They asked her where she had been. (Correct)
- Seldom or never and seldom if ever are used.
We seldom or ever see those forsaken who trust in God. (Incorrect)
We seldom or never see those forsaken who trust in God. (Correct)
- Else is followed by but and not by than.
I want nothing else than to see her. (Incorrect)
I want nothing else but to see her. (Correct)
- So…. as is used in negative sentences.
As…. as is used in both negative and affirmative sentences.
(i) She is so beautiful as Rekha. (Incorrect)
She is as beautiful as Rekha. (Correct)
(ii) You are not so hard working as Atul.
Directions (Q.Nos. 1-15) Find, out the part which has an error in the following sentences. If there is noerror, your answer is (d).
1.Dr. Sinha was sympathetic (a)/ not only to the rich patients (b)/ and also to the poor ones, (c)/ No error (d)
2.Her name is so glorious (a) / in our history (b) / as any other leader, (c) / No error (d)
3. He did (a)/ nothing else (b)/ than play, (c)/ No error (d)
4. I cannot confirm you (a) / if he Has paid the bill (b)/ or returned the goods, (c)/ No error (d)
5. This is perhaps the same dog (a)/ which bit her while she (b) / was returning from market, (c) / No error (d)
6. Either he nor his brother (a)/was informed about the venue (b) / of the meeting of our society, (c) / No error (d)
7. As they were in (a)/ trouble therefore they (b)/ did not attend marriage, (c)/ No error (d)
8. He is well known (a)/ for both his kindness (b)/ as well as his understanding, (c) / No error (d)
9. I don’t know if any of the members (a) / of the party is conspiring (b) / against the President or not. (c)/ No error (d)
10. As soon as the peon rings the first bell (a)/ than all the students assemble (b) / on the play ground for prayer, (c)/ No error (d)
11. To make him succeed (a) / the correct thing to do is to punish (b) / him until he does not try. (c)/ No error (d)
12. Carry it (a)/ carefully lest (b)/ it should not fall.(c)/ No error (d)
13. How do you say that (a) / neither he or Ramesh (b)/ has qualified in the examination, (c)/ No error (d)
Verifying the Answers